Current Studies

No mood illness is the same. Our brain circuit targeted approach leverages cutting edge neuroscience for personalized treatment.

Click to learn more about some of our ongoing or recent projects:

This study is enrolling healthy volunteers to examine how transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can affect fear and anxiety through memory and attention tasks. 

Effect of rTMS on Anxiety Study Webpage

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment protocols that have been effective in reducing anxiety symptoms comorbid with depression, have not shown the same efficacy in non-depressed individuals, calling for a novel approach to general anxiety reduction. In this study, continuous theta burst stimulation will be used to stimulate the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in order to target regions in the fear/anxiety circuit.

Utilize neuroimaging methods to map and modulate the brain and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is now FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, there is growing evidence that the targeting strategy for  delivering TMS treatment would yield superior clinical outcomes if it were more tailored to individual neuroanatomy and functional connectivity. In this study, we plan to examine whether functional MRI-guided TMS might be more effective than traditional methods at influencing neural circuit communication. If this is true, future studies may utilize these methods to yield an even greater leap forward in promoting optimal clinical outcomes using TMS for treatment.

Our project will use non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation) to temporarily influence the brain while we record effects with functional magnetic resonance imaging.

The choice of TMS targets has been determined from imaging data supporting deficits in prefrontal cortical connectivity. Both resting state fMRI and task-based fMRI reveal dimensional components of pathophysiology across major depression (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which fall within the negative valence construct of the RDoC framework; both disorders are treated with TMS. A principal barrier to understanding the mechanisms of repetitive TMS (rTMS) treatment for depression is a limitation common to neuroimaging methods that utilize correlational approaches to understand brain/ behavior relationships. TMS without concurrent measurement of neural activity cannot measure in vivo processes that give rise to behavior. Combining traditional resting state fMRI measures of connectivity with evoked fMRI connectivity with TMS allows novel insights into how traditional connectivity measures can be confirmed by causally manipulating particular brain areas while monitoring downstream effects in deeper brain targets.

In a sample of healthy adults and subset of young adults with ADHD, we will use diffusion imaging to create individualized TMS targets by identifying points in that brain that have high and low regional controllability.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has evolved to become one of the most widely used approaches for non-invasive neuromodulation in humans and significant data suggests that it may improve working memory performance. This study explores the concept of applying TMS to specific targets during specific states which may enhance its impact on behavior. In a sample of healthy adults and subset of young adults with ADHD, we will use diffusion imaging to create individualized TMS targets by identifying points in that brain that have high and low regional controllability.

This study will recruit 50 medically healthy young adults between the ages of 18 and 28 as well as 45 patients with ADHD matched on age, sex, and race.

In order to examine the neurobiological impact of computer-augmented cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT).

CCBT Study Webpage

CCBT is a trial of an FDA-approved treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), “computer- augmented cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT)”, to examine novel potential neural circuit biomarkers of treatment response. The goal of this project is to add computer based training at home to therapist-guided treatment to determine if the treatment outcome and brain effects are the same as traditional CBT. We also will enroll 40 healthy controls of a similar age/sex distribution. MDD subjects will be randomized to either immediate or delayed treatment with 8 weeks of CCBT. All subjects will have an fMRI at baseline; MDD subjects will have an fMRI after each treatment phase.

Contributes participant brain images and behavioral data to a public database sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and is associated with the Human Connectome Project.

Anxious misery disorders (MDD, GAD, PTSD) affect almost one third of adults and even with currently available treatment leaves many individuals with chronic suffering. The goal of this project is to collect a large and comprehensive database including structural, resting state, task-evoked, and diffusion-weighted imaging data, symptom and neuropsychological data, and actigraphy data. These measures will be used in machine learning algorithms to determine biotypes. This project is a disease study associated with the Human Connectome Project.